Media Ethics: Journalism and Social Networking

your tailor I'm really happy for you I'm let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time when their best videos are too when Kanye West embarrassed fellow musical artists Taylor Swift at the 2009 Video Music Awards he became the center of media attention Kanye West became a trending topic on Twitter four days after with users cursing the singer for his behavior however they weren't the only ones to offer their commentary about the rapper's actions prior to being interviewed by CNBC President Barack Obama made a supposedly off-the-record comment caught on tape calling the rapper a jackass for his actions ABC reporter Terry Moran then leaked this information on his Twitter page from this his comment began making headlines and was even reported on Sienna is it video okay great thanks this is video of the Prezi United States calling Kanye West of Jackass after Kanye West went out the other day during the MTV Awards and decided that he should be the guy who decides who wins an award over Beyonce it's kind of interesting we want you to listen to it and then we're gonna talk about it with Rowland he seems like perfectly nice person she's getting her award the situation exemplifies an increasingly common ethical dilemma in journalism in a world where individuals every move can be posted on the Internet what should be reported as news at what point does a person's private life become public in order to gauge this we asked a series of questions first what is news news can be separated into three categories right to know need to know and want to know news categorized as right to know information is public information that citizens have legal access to such as health inspection records news categorized as need-to-know information is pertinent news that impacts the lives of the public such as legislation passed by local state or national government research studies and war updates news categorized as want to know information is information of interests as little or no relevance or importance to the public this includes Hollywood gossip and slander our social networking sites legitimate news sources today many journalists and public figures use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to publicize news or news articles in a positive use of social networking to promote journalistic efforts Anderson Cooper of CNN links to articles on on his Twitter page however others abused these sites by stating opinions or even spreading gossip was President Obama's common legitimate news the Society of Professional Journalists employs a code of ethics to determine what is legitimate news the preamble to the journalists code of ethics states that members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice in the foundation of democracy it's a code of ethics states that only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy the publication of President Obama's off-the-record comment is a clear intrusion into his privacy the code of ethics furthers to demand the journalists show good taste and avoid pandering to lurid curiosity in conclusion President Obama's statement falls into the category of want to know information and is not news according to the journalism code of ethics but if it's not news why is it on the news despite the lack of news worthiness the public continues to flock to entertainment news sources for example Perez Hilton celebrity blog is currently one of the most popular websites in the United States boasting 105 million views per month according to Nielsen in 2008 YouTube was the sixth most popular web site in the United States with 72,000 Plus visitors per month in contrast no web sites affiliated with major print journalism publications or broadcast journalism stations made the list as public demand for celebrity news grows the news producers continues to supply it and a vicious cycle persists this inevitably leads to a decrease in public discourse and political knowledge a poll in 2003 found that more teams were able to identify the three stooges than the three branches of government similarly according to The Associated Press in 2004 more votes were cast in the American Idol finale than the presidential election suffrage is considered a forerunner of democracy what rules are in place to address this journalism social networking crossover is it just a free-for-all of spreading information certain publications such as the National Public Radio and the Washington Post have banned or restricted reporters use of social networking sites on September 25th 2009 The Washington Post released guidelines for the use of social networking sites by journalists among other things the guidelines stressed that reality is simple if you don't want something to be found online don't put it there the post insists that when using these networks nothing they do must call him to question the impartiality of their news judgment they must never abandon the guidelines that govern the separation of news from opinion the importance of fact and objectivity the appropriate use of language and tone and other hallmarks of their brand of journalism this article was in response to several tweets posted by journalists resume our study that blatantly expressed his opinion on topics such as government funding of war versus health care in the condition of Senator Byrd's health now resetti has since deleted his Twitter account the post guidelines further in requiring that post journalists must refrain from writing tweeting or posting anything including photographs or video that could be perceived as reflecting political racial sexist religious or other bias or favoritism that would be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility in contrast other media outlets endorse social networking sites and promote their usage for example ESPN directs viewers and readers to follow reporters on Twitter so who's responsible for the quality of news the producer was a consumer consumers can only know what information is provided to them and assume that they need to know this information it is the duty of formal networks to focus attention on important issues and what the public actually needs to know in order to be aware citizens they shouldn't feed into the public's desire for slander and gossip the news doesn't injustice to the pressing issues of the world by positioning them alongside celebrity gossip a 2003 study sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that barely half of 15 to 26 year olds agreed that paying attention to government and politics is important to good citizenship and only two thirds considered voting a meaningful Act so what can we do about it in order to preserve the integrity of journalism journalists have to draw a thick line between news and gossip placing them in two completely separate categories and publishing them on separate networks journalists with social networking profiles should only publicize officially reported information such as links to news articles punishments should be more severe for any journalist found pandering to the lured curiosities of the public news reporters whose job it is to seek truth and report it should not be setting forth information that is opinion instead of fact however if used properly social networking sites could successfully promote properly gathered news and benefit the public as a go-between for credible sources instead of merely milling gossip you

7 thoughts on “Media Ethics: Journalism and Social Networking

  1. Until now, this video is still catchy. It was uploaded years ago but it still has the ability to affect other people’s choices and views on social networking sites coupled with journalism. This can be very efficient now that even big-time news companies are relying on the Internet for some of their headlines.

  2. Reputable news sources should verify all their content, especially if it is user generated/picked up from social networking sites such as Twitter.

    It's better to focus on responsible journalism than being the 'first' to break a story – in a globalised world that is unlikely anyway. If you can't be first and report as breaking news, in which case facts which are thin on the ground might be more excusable, you should take the time to get the facts right and verify sources before running a story

  3. I liked this video. It definitely puts into focus the disparity between need-to-know knowledge and "convenient" information. I think it's more of a psychological stigma. The human mind tends to avoid that which causes it pain and sadness, and with one click (less effort than it takes to turn a page) that terrible story about some small country out east is replaced by your favorite celebrity's new hairstyle. Perhaps it's simply become too convenient too ignore significant news.

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